MAR 14, 2016 11:14 AM PDT

Scientists Discover a Spider That Eats Fish

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

 Normally when you think of spiders, you think about spider webs lurking in the unoccupied regions of your dry home, but a recent spider discovery in Queensland, Australia will surprise those that believe spiders hate wet and populated environments.
 
A new spider species being given the name Dolomedes Briangreenei, named after theoretical physicist Brian Greene who founded the World Science Festival that the spider was announced at, lurks atop fresh water streams and rivers in Australia, catching tadpoles, fish, and even toads that are more than three times its size, and then devouring them.
 

Newly-discovered spider species devours fish more than 3x its size.


The spider sits atop the surface tension of the water, and then waits to feel for vibrations or small waves underneath the water. This indicates that there could be prey below it, and at this point, it dives underneath the water’s surface and goes in for the kill.
 
Of course, having the unique ability to be a creepy spider and also a fisherman comes with some needs that most spiders won’t have – so this particular species is able to hold its breath for up to an hour under water while it catches it prey.
 
Once its snags its victim, Dolomedes Briangreenei utilizes a powerful venom that stuns and kills the prey so that the spider can get to work on its lunch.
 

 
Despite being a rather lethal predator to small aquatic creatures and amphibians, the spider isn’t going to be harmful to humans. Nevertheless, if you should come across one on one of your trips to Australia, it’s still probably best to just leave it alone.

"These spiders sit there on the water and then all of a sudden an insect will hit the water and the spider races out to get it, grabs it, dives under the water and then swims back to the shore and starts eating it," Robert Raven, Principal Scientist of Arachnology at the Queensland Museum, told Mashable Australia. "I've been bitten by this spider and it’s not particularly dangerous. It just stung for a little while."

Source: Mashable Australia

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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